SPACES VeloFoto COMMERCIAL TRAVEL 21st Century Crusaders Young Matador LEADERS EDITORIAL Upon regaining eye sight in Ethiopia
Toñete: Antonio Catalan, an 18 year old, who just started university classes, wants to be a Matador.
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Toñete has been training since he was 13. In another year, if he passes his final assessment, he will earn the title Matador.
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While bullfighters train in the woods outside Valladolid, onlookers inspect their tools.
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A tailor fits Toñete for a training outfit. Strict adherence to the traditional dress code is part of the training for a novice.
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Three bullfighters head for a "tentadero", a training session with fighting cows.
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A training bullring in the countryside, where spirited fighting cows will be selected for breeding, after facing off with bullfighters.
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Enrique Ponce, one of Spain's top matadors.
Toñete enters a bullring for a training session with fighting cows.
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A scene repeated, unchanged, throughout the history of Spain.
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Training on the traditional choreography and passes of the cape.
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A bullfighter takes a break from training in the hot summer sun.
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Training in a covered bullring, in the province of Valladolid.
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An afternoon of training at a breeder's ranch in Salamanca province. Breeders throughout Spain invite bullfighters to help select cows with a fighting spirit.
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Madonnas, matadors, and math homework. Toñetes bulletin board at his home in Madrid.
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Enrique Ponce, one of Spain's premier matadors, lets Toñete use his ranch in Jaen to rest and prepare for an upcoming bullfight.
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The bullfighter's Suit of Lights, driving through olive groves of Jaen, on the way to a bullfight.
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Toñete is a "novillero", a bullfighter that fights novillos, 1-2 year old bulls.
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.... and traveling on the roads of Spain, from town to town.
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Sun, sand and sweat in Higuera de las Dueñas.
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The whole town turns out for the bullfight.
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After his kill, a bullfighter parades around the arena, tossing a hat to a lady in the audience.
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Face to face.
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The last sunset for this bull.
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Soaking up the applause and approval of the audience.
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After the final corrida, the bullfighters bid their farewells...
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...and Toñete ends his day with a party at the local tavern.
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Getting dressed for tonight's big show...
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...a young man on his way to work.
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In this large venue, thousands of people come to see the young bullfighters. The show starts with a parade of fine horses.
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....preparing to face the bull..
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Showtime in the historic bullring of Salamanca. Tonight is a big night for the young bullfighters.
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....with some obligatory, crowd pleasing bravado.
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The final minutes of this bull's life, starts with the flourishes of a cape.
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The pressure is on tonight to perform well in Salamanca.
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No need for a mercy killing tonight.
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The bullfighter acknowledges the jury's decision.
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In the countryside of Spain, young men still dream of becoming a famous Matador.
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© Alex Quesada